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How RDIs are elected

The distinction “Royal Designer for Industry” is conferred by the RSA on UK designers, whose work demonstrates:


  • Sustained design excellence

  • Work of aesthetic value

  • Significant benefit to society

The distinction is given, but not sought. Suggestions for future RDIs may come from anywhere, but these require the support of an existing RDI and the working group in the Faculty representing the relevant design discipline.

Nominators are required to submit a biography of their nominee with a citation that clearly explains their eligibility under each criterion highlighted above. The RDI nomination and election process begins in January and concludes in November. Candidates who are supported at a working group meeting are presented at an RDI Nomination Meeting by an RDI. Those that attract continuing support are carried forward to the meeting at which RDIs vote. Postal votes are received from those RDIs who are unable to attend.

The Faculty’s elections are reviewed by an RSA/ RDI Panel, which looks in particular at a designer’s significant benefit to society. Approved candidates are then considered by the RSA Nominations Panel.

The RSA Trustee Board then ratifies the appointments and the successful candidates are offered the distinction RDI by the RSA. An honorary distinction (Hon RDI) may be given to a limited number of designers who are non-UK citizens.

For further information please contact Melanie Andrews, Manager of the Royal Designers for Industry at